ME01733 - BONESTOWN - Ritual site - holy well

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Situated on a slight E-facing slope in a field that was known as ‘Boylan’s Garden’ or ‘The Meenauns’, it is one of the sources of the W-E Broad Meadow River that flows to the Irish Sea through Ratoath and Ashbourne. St Sechnall’s Well is mentioned by Isaac Butler (1892, 16-7) in 1749 when it was described as sulphurous and surrounded by trees. The OS Letters from the 1830s recorded that a whitethorn grew by the well but the patron had not been held within living memory (Herity 2001, 103). The patron, held on the Sunday following the saint’s feastday, the 27th November, had been revived by the 1920s when the whitethorn was still present at the edge of the well. There was a cure for swellings on any part of the body by the application of a poultice made from clay and the well water applied for nine days, but no offerings were left at the well. The pattern was discontinued before these details were recorded in the 1930’s (IFC: Schools Collection, vol. 0687, 249), but the well is still extant as a circular water-filled hollow although the area is overgrown (French 2012, 63-4).

Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

Monument Details

53.5189, -6.53692

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